Greenlee, it seems, now makes a utility knife. If you’re not a professional electrician, you’ll probably never see one, because I’m betting this is the sort of thing that’ll never, ever appear at the local big box. Still, it’s interesting to see their take on a tool that pretty much everyone else makes — and sells by the truckload. My first thought: It’s a lot shorter than most utility knives I’ve seen, which might not be a good thing.
Back a few years ago we fell in love with Irwin’s utility knife, and we’re happy to report that just about everyone has figured out that it’s the slight bend in the middle that set the Irwin apart. That little crook makes the difference between a knife that feels awkward and one that feels both comfortable and stable. Clearly the Greenlee lacks this design feature.
But maybe Greenlee has something else in mind entirely. Known primarily for their electrical tools, I’m betting Greenlee envisions this knife being used mostly to strip wire and such. These type of cutting tasks wouldn’t really benefit from a longer handle, so why not just keep the thing compact?
Regardless, I love the thick blade holder. Nothing screams “I’m going to cut the hell out of you one day” like those little spring-steel money clip-like blade holders found in most knives. Anything that both keeps the blade covered and rotates them up for easy access gets my mark of approval.
One other piece of good news, too: You can find this thing around the ‘net for $6, which means that unlike some other Greenlee tools, it’s not really any more expensive than the store brands, assuming, of course, that you’re comparing similar quality tools.